Funny Fiction Science Fiction

“The eighth term is the seventh term plus the sixth term… The ninth term is the eighth term plus the seventh term… The tenth term is the…”


“…Ninth term plus the eighth term…”

“Chuck… What are you doing?”

“…I’m reciting Fibonacci…”

“Fibber what?”

“Fibonacci. You know, the thirteenth-century Italian mathematician.”

“We’re in the middle of a countdown, here, Chuck… Is that really relevant?”

“Well, I’m reciting his famous sequence of numbers…”


“Because his sequence of numbers has many applications in mathematics, science, art, and nature. They reveal patterns and proportions often found in nature.”

“No, Chuck… I meant, why are you jabbering random numbers during our countdown?”

“They’re not random, and it’s my first time in space.”

“But we’re still on the launchpad.”

“Yeah, Commander. I’m aware of that… I’m nervous. When I get nervous, I start spewing out Fibonacci sequences to calm me down.”

“How’d you ever get past psych evaluation?”

“…I wasn’t nervous when talking to them…”

“Remind me again why you’re joining me on this mission?”

“I won a competition.”

“Oh, yeah… The spare seat competition. What was it called, Maths teacher of the year eight?”

Mathematician of the year… Just so happens that I won the public vote to join you on this mission.”

“I don’t deny your maths qualities will come in handy. Just assist us as needed and don’t step on our feet, okay?”

“I have my instructions. I’m to check and double-check all readings after we install the comms link on the moon.”

“Affirmative. That’s why you carry the title of Mission Specialist on this trip.”

“I’m curious, Commander… Our other two crew members seem to be very relaxed. They look like they’re asleep.”

“Yeah, they’ll wake up when those thirty-one engines all light up.”

“I admire their calm.”

“Just wait until ignition and see how wide their eyes will open… So, how many votes did you get?”

“Hmm? Oh, quite a lot – thanks to my cousin…”

“Your cousin? What, he rig the vote or something?

“…More like, he influenced his Tik Tok followers to vote.”

“Tik Tok? How many followers does your cousin have?”

“…Three million…”

“Three!? What the heck does he post that’s so interesting?”

“…Photos of his dog’s ass… in different locations around the world.”

“What!? Haa! You got to be kidding… His dog’s ass?”

Two-minute hold, Moonbeam One. Final checks in progress…”

“…Erm, Roger that, mission control… All internal checks erm… complete… Why does your cousin take photos of his dog’s ass in different locations around the world?”

“…Jesus is with them wherever they go…”

“Okay… didn’t think you mathematicians were the religious type…”

“You misunderstand… The dog has an image like the shroud of Jesus… on… you know… behind her.”

“The shroud of Jesus is on his dog’s ass…?”


“…Fuck me, That’s outrageous…”

“…Uh, Moonbeam One, Mission Control here. Is there a problem?

Sorry, mission control, just a boyish slip of my tongue.”

Copy that, Moonbeam One… Suggest you mute comms during your capsule conversations, until you reach orbit…

Roger that… Ok, they can’t hear us – which is fine for now, coz this chat has spiralled beyond my wildest imagination.”

“Yeah, Fibonacci will do that to you… You see, his sequence pictorially represents a spiral shape… For instance, starting at zero, then adding the number one, you get a result of one. You now have two numbers, zero and one. Add those together and you get one……”

“Are you getting nervous again, Chuck?”

“…Now take your last two results and add them together… One plus one is… Two…”

“…Earth to Chuck… You in there, buddy?”

“…Add the last two results again… One plus two… is three, then two plus three equals five.”

“…Yeah, I get it. Three plus five equals eight…”

“…Eight plus five equals thirteen…”

“Okay, Chuck. Try and calm yourself down, would you?”

“…That’s the eighth term equalling the seventh term plus the sixth.”

“…Okay, I’ve got it now, Chuck. So, you’re a maths genius who won a competition voted in by people who love looking at photos of your cousin’s dog’s ass because it looks like the shroud of Jesus, and…”

“That’s not exactly correct…”

“Sorry, I must have gotten lost somewhere between the seventh term and the eighth…”

“…It’s not just like the shroud of Jesus, Commander. It is Jesus… From head to foot… wearing a long robe, hands outstretched, palms up.”

“Say what!? Did they get the dog groomer to do that or something? You know, like modern hairstylists do with sports personalities and those hip-hop artists’ hair?”

“No, it was a natural phenomenon.”

“Hold on for a Texas minute… you’re saying that your cousin’s dog was born with Jesus on its ass…”

“…Some of his Tik Tok followers considered it a miracle. That’s how he gained so many followers.”

“On the sole reason that Jesus was on his dog’s ass.”

“…Listen, when you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it… He’s had so many requests to tour with the dog, that a GoFundMe page was set up by his followers for his travel costs.”

“Unbelievable… So, he just travels the world with his dog…?”

“Yes, he’s been everywhere and they’ve both been welcomed everywhere. However, he did cause quite a stir in Rome.”

“Why, what happened?”

“…His dog had eaten something she shouldn’t have and subsequently got the runs before being presented to the pope. The poor thing had stained her fur under her you-know… blow hole. So, when the Pope took a curious peek, he nodded his head, then said just one word, and started laughing his head off…”

“So, what’d he say?”


“…Gandalf…? What…!?”

“You see, the messy streaks had turned Jesus and the greatest story ever told into something more resembling the J.R.R. Tolkien character. By the time the dog got a wash and dry, the pope was down-trending on social media. He even received hate messages directed at him from some of the most devout areas of the Tik Tok world.”

“All because of one Tik Tok influencer…”

“Yeah, that’s life as we know it, now… I felt sorry for my cousin and posted a genuine heartfelt sympathy for the dog and gained almost ninety thousand likes overnight. For a brief period, I was more popular than the pope, but after the social media fallout, his people posted an apology, invited my cousin back for a friendly photo session, and all was forgiven online… Typical Catholics… Sin, then repent and be forgiven…”

“That must be the most silly story I’ve ever heard… So, where’s your cousin and the dog, now?”

“They’re still in Rome, racking up Bitcoin deposits by selling photo sessions with the dog outside the Vatican… There are more photos of that dog’s ass online than there are of Kim Kardashian’s, and she’s trending big time.”

Moonbeam One, all optimum checks here are complete. Stand-by for resumption of countdown.”

Copy that, Control… What did you have to do in the competition you entered?”

“Oh, it was a mathematical equation to define the meaning of life…”

“…You mean, like in that Monty Python movie?”

“More like Douglas Adam’s, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

“But anyone could answer that – if they’d read the book.”

“Yes, that was a trick to weed out the imposters. Half of the contestants were eliminated because they gave that very answer. You know the one…”

“Forty-two, right?”

“That’s correct. But the contest was not to present the answer. It was a challenge to produce the equation to the answer.”

“Yeah, I remember the book. The calculation was something like, What do you get if you multiply six by nine…”

“That’s what ninety percent of the other contestants wrote down and submitted.”

“That was incorrect?”

“Well, do the math… Six times nine is…?”

“…Fifty-four… Oh yeah. Of course. That’s not the answer that computer in the story came up with.”

“No, the computer in the book -  called, Deep Thought – spent seven-and-a-half million years of processing probabilities and possibilities, finally spitting out the number forty-two…”

“So, how does six times nine compute to the answer forty-two?”

“Well, using the decimal system that we are all accustomed to, the answer will never be forty-two. However - and this is the genius of Adams’ writing. If you use a Base thirteen system to calculate the problem, the result is forty-two.”

“Base thirteen? Who uses Base thirteen?”

“No-one does, but that wasn’t the challenge. If you recall, the challenge was to prove the equation. By proving the equation, the answer made sense.”

“…Okay… I still don’t get it.”

“Well, lucky for you, there was already a seat reserved for you on this rocket, because you may have just fallen away from the judge’s choice. At the final buzzer, three of us had figured it out… You see, the number forty-two has different meanings to different cultures and existences. In a binary code, it’s represented as one-zero, one-zero, one-zero. As you surely know, it is often used in mathematical and computer calculations. However, the subtext of the calculated result has its roots in religion – such as Buddhism and Hinduism – where forty-two is the symbol of the final goal of life that occurs around the age of forty-two - the age that they believe a person reaches Nirvana or Moksha. In Christianity, the number forty-two is mentioned many times in the Bible.”

“How is that significant?”

“…Without sounding like I’m giving a lecture… In the book of Revelation, it is associated with the number of months that the Antichrist will rule over the world. It is also the number of generations from Abraham to Jesus Christ.”

“The one on your cousin’s dog’s ass?”

“…No, the real Jesus…”

“So, what does this all have to do with the meaning of life?”

“To try to explain it in plain terminology. As a mathematician, I can only look at it from the perspective of equations, then let the theorists and philosophers interpret the results. The meaning is irrelevant. The journey to seek the knowledge is the important part.”

“Ralph Waldo Emerson… It’s not the destination, it’s the journey…”

“Exactly, Commander! Now you’re getting it…”

“My favourite quote of his, inspired me to become an Astronaut. It goes, The only person you are destined to be, is the person you decide to be… So, I decided to be a starship pilot flying faster than the speed of sound and eventually closer to the speed of light…”

“…Do you know that the speed of light crossing a proton takes ten to the minus forty-second-power seconds? Or, that the ASCII code for the asterisk symbol in computer terms is forty-two?”

“How is that pertinent?”

“…The asterisk is often considered as a symbol that translates to anything or everything. Forty-two equals everything… e.g… the Meaning of Life.”

“Wow, that was a journey, hey, Chuck? But… you got there in the end, huh…?”

“Yeah… mind blowing, isn’t it…”

“You mathematicians sure are a weird bunch…”

Moonbeam One, this is control… We have a GO for launch at one minute and counting…”

Copy that, Control. All checks complete hereLooking to escape your gravitational clutches and feel like a feather in Zero-G for the final time…”

Er, Roger-Roger, Commander. Time catches up with all of us. Unfortunately for you, it’s also time for the younger generation of space explorers to conquer the next technological challenges…”

That’s a reluctant, Copy that, Control…”

“…May I remind you that it’s us mathematicians that help rockets like this escape the pull of Earth’s gravity and get us to the… Shit! We’re about to launch, aren’t we…”

“Now, take a deep breath, Chuck. Then, let it out slowly. I’ve done this many times before, and you’re in for one hell of a ride…”

Forty-two seconds and counting, Moonbeam One…”

Copy that, Control…”

“Did she just say, Forty-two?”

“She sure did, Prof… Ain’t that a coincidence…”

“…Oh deary, deary me… The eighth term is the seventh term plus the sixth term… The ninth term is the eighth term plus the seventh term… The tenth term is the…”

Thirty seconds, Moonbeam One…”

“You still with us, Chuck…? Hey, Chuck…? Goddamit! Control, this is Moonbeam One… hold on countdown, we may have an issue here…”

Copy, Moonbeam One. Holding at twenty seconds and awaiting further instructions…”

“Chuck…? Chuck…! Hey, buddy, you didn’t finish telling me how you beat the other two contestants to this flight… Chuck…?”

“…Frank Sinatra…”


“…As a tie breaker, they asked each of us to present something completely random for followers to vote on. The first finalist wrote a mathematical formula explaining the predictability of random numbers. It was very convincing… The second finalist described how playing the random game of roulette and picking just one colour – such as red – then doubling your bet each turn, you could win yourself a small fortune…”

“Impressive. How the heck did you beat that?”

“Well, I took the challenge as an open-ended random choice – rather than an actual mathematical problem, so I started to sing Fly me To the Moon, by Frank Sinatra. It was a totally random occurrence with a probability factor that no-one counted on. My cousin shared my singing of the song on Tik Tok, encouraging his followers to vote for me in the public vote…”


“It wasn’t so random…”


“I picked the song not because of the theme of the competition, but because it was written in the Twentieth Century, in the fifty-fourth year… the correlation being…”

“…Base thirteen, forty-two!”

“…You got it…! It’s a slightly exaggerated explanation; however, the first three lines of the song is a hyperbole of facts and wishes that portray a flight to the moon and a description of seasons like spring - on Jupiter and Mars… If I couldn’t sway them with my quivery, dulcet vocal tones, then the subliminal message I calculated in, was bound to get noticed…”

“…You’re pretty smart for a game show contestant… I do believe I’m sitting next to a genius… I’ll tell you what. Let’s get this tin can into orbit and you can sing the song for me in Zero-G. What d’ya say?”

“Roger that, Commander.”

“By the way, where can I download a copy of your cousin’s dog’s ass?”

“Right… here… We have Internet access on this monitor. Just let me type in the address, www.mydogsass.com... and… there!”

“…Cute dog… Goddam, Chuck! That really does look like Jesus…!”

“Yeah… It does, doesn’t it… It looks like my cousin has trimmed the bit that got stained. No more looking like Gandalf when it gets the shits…”

“Nor Dumbledore… What d’ya say we resume the countdown, hey Chuck? How about you ease your nerves by doing a reverse Fibonacci when the count reaches ten, okay?”

“Sure, sounds good…”

Control, this is Moonbeam One. All systems are GO here… Ready to resume countdown.”

Roger, Moonbeam One. Countdown resuming at t-minus twenty seconds… God speed…”

Copy that, Control. Okay, Chuck. Let’s go install that laser link from the moon… Reverse Fibonacci in three, two, one…”



















One… and lift-off of the inaugural Lunar Laser Link mission aboard Space X’s Moonbeam One Lunar Lander, where tomorrow’s communications are today’s hopes for faster comms links to the celestial heavens…”

“Wakey Wakey, you two sleepyheads back there… We’re going to the moon…! Hey Chuck?”

“Yes, Commander…”

“Do you realise that your reverse Fibonacci stopped at the meaning of life…”

“It did?”

“Six times nine equals Fifty-four… Convert that in Base Thirteen and you get?”


“The Buddhist’s Nirvana. Wait until you see the real heaven up there. You’re going to have an epiphany or two on the real meaning of life. Hey Chuck, you know what? I think I’m going to name our landing zone, Base Thirteen… Any chance we could get your cousin to raise some noise on Tik Tok, to vote me another mission after this?”

“…Sure, Commander. I don’t see why not…”

February 20, 2023 08:57

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Amanda Lieser
16:12 Mar 22, 2023

Hey Chris, As always, a masterful piece. And one that touches on an interesting topic: when we see figures in any capacity, how much is real and how much is our run away imaginations? I liked the way you incorporated so much into this piece and I liked the setting, too. I always wonder about those conversations had by the experts before goin off to space. A comedian I admire once wrote a song about space called “100 tampons.” As a woman, I find it extremely hilarious. I liked this one and I hope to see more from you exploring all aspects ...


Chris Campbell
23:38 Mar 22, 2023

Hey Amanda. I looked up the song and the Ted Talk version. Absolutely hilarious! Space being the "Final Frontier," you got to stock up, right? 🤣 More sci-fi to come. Thanks for your great feedback.


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Keri Dyck
22:27 Mar 01, 2023

Hey Chris! I was given your story to critique. It’s quite well done. It’s clear who is talking when, which is impressive. The only thing I would correct was the use of ellipses; so many were a lot on the eyes. Good job!


Chris Campbell
22:57 Mar 01, 2023

Keri, Thank you for your feedback. The ellipses seem to be a carry-over from my screenwriting days, where they are used to slow the pacing down a bit. Kind of like a breath or a pause. It seems to be my style of writing, but I've noted your comment and will gauge some more feedback on them. If they distract from the writing, I will rein them in. Glad you liked the story.


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Roger Scypion
03:16 Feb 28, 2023

Great story and mathematical masterpiece of following the prompt.


Chris Campbell
04:53 Feb 28, 2023

Thank you, Roger. A little swotting up on math helped.


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Helen A Smith
10:59 Feb 26, 2023

So many interesting facets to this fast-paced story, it kept me gripped throughout.


Chris Campbell
22:38 Feb 26, 2023

Thank you, Helen. Glad you liked it.


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Jack Kimball
17:01 Feb 25, 2023

The math is so far above my head I have to look up to see zero but any story that combines “The shroud of Jesus is on his dog’s ass…?” with the Pope and Frank Sinatra gets my vote. Also interesting Chris on how it fits two prompts? You should get double points for that.


Chris Campbell
01:02 Feb 26, 2023

Jack, That's very funny. Thanks for your great review. I started this just as a dialogue-only, then Fibonacci snuck in. I had to do a little research and interpretation, but I think it worked. Google "Jesus on a dog's ass" and see for yourself. 🤣


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Delbert Griffith
16:36 Feb 22, 2023

Well, your math was both spot on and insightful. You did such a great job incorporating the relevance of Fibonacci values to your story, and throwing in Douglas Adams made it even better. Interesting fact: any value can be transformed into any other value as long as you choose the proper base. 54 to 42 is pretty easy, but what you did with that was amazing. That was quite clever, Chris. Also, if you take the Fibonacci sequence out for a few terms, then you can approximate the Golden Ration by taking a term and dividing it by its previous t...


Chris Campbell
23:22 Feb 22, 2023

Delbert, Many thanks for validating my math. You clearly are the Math Master, as I just took a little knowledge and fit into a story. So glad to have got it correct. This was a learning journey for me and a trip down math memory lane. Interesting thing is that everything just fit into place. I suppose that's the wonder of Math. Thanks for your kind comments.


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Lily Finch
14:59 Feb 21, 2023

Chris, someone did their homework on this story. Great job. I always teach my kids that math is just another language. You have proved that. Thanks for the good read. LF6.


Chris Campbell
22:56 Feb 21, 2023

Thanks, Lily. Homework was required for sure and what another language! I took snippets from several factoids for this one and stretched a couple.


Lily Finch
01:46 Feb 22, 2023

That's what fiction is all about. LF6.


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Michelle Oliver
12:55 Feb 20, 2023

Chris my brain hurts! Maths is not my strong suit. I’m going to assume that all the maths in your story computes. I love the way you combined two prompts in one, so clever. A great story with well crafted dialogue. The characters were very distinct. Well done


Chris Campbell
13:48 Feb 20, 2023

Michelle, thank you for your great feedback. I had to do a bit of research on this one, and yes, to the best of my calculating knowledge, the math is correct. I had never paid much attention to the Fibonacci sequence until the prompt. Now, I can't stop counting like Fibonacci. 🤣


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